Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dressing for the job you want

There’s a saying that goes, “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” If you’re like me and your day job requires you to wear a uniform to work most days, then you really don’t have much of an option when selecting your daily wardrobe. But maybe we can take that old adage and think outside the box for a bit. In this case, let’s change the advice to: “Use LinkedIn for the job you want, not the one you have.”

Yesterday I edited my LinkedIn profile to focus primarily on my writing career instead of my “pay the bills” job. It made sense to me to do that, since I’m very much interested in furthering my writing career. I have no illusions or, in fact, any desire to climb the ladder any higher in my day job, so the amount of help that LinkedIn can offer me in that area is obviously limited.

I’ll have to admit, it was a scary step. I don’t have a ton of LinkedIn connections, but my boss and several of my day job colleagues are on the list. I don’t want to project to these people that I don’t care about my day job — quite the opposite, really, as it does do a more than adequate job of paying the bills. But it’s way past time for me to start truly following my dream, and for me to start acting like writing is what I really want to do with my life.

Monday, April 27, 2015

What does it mean to be successful in writing?

Despite all of my procrastination, I've dreamed most of my life of being a full-time writer. That is, I would love to be able to support myself and my family completely through my writing. I realize that’s a big dream, and it’s one that most writers never achieve. While I am beginning to take that dream seriously and work towards it, I also don’t want to consider myself a failure if I can’t completely achieve it.

So what does it mean to be successful in your writing? There are several answers to this question. It really depends on what you as a writer want out of it. My ultimate definition of writing success, as indicated above, would be to make enough money from my writing that I wouldn't have to have a “day job.” Failing that, it’d be nice to make enough money to supplement a job that’s less demanding than my current day job, which would be pretty satisfying too.

Ultimately, money probably shouldn't be the main indicator of writing success. Most writers are
never able to make enough money to live off of with just their writing. Thus, a lot of quality work would not get produced because people would give up on themselves once it becomes apparent they’re not going to make enough money from their work.

Other definitions of success may include just getting your work out there and building up a small but vocal fan base. For some, success may mean reaping the therapeutic benefits that so often come with writing. Others may find it enough to just entertain themselves and a handful of others with their work.

Money isn't the be-all and end-all of writing, or indeed, of any career. Loving what you do, whether it’s writing or anything else, is what life’s all about.

What's your definition of writing success?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

What I've been up to...

It's been a long time since I've updated this blog. I haven't really been writing much, but that's changing. I'm starting to use Scrivener, which I've always heard was great but never gave much of a chance before, to write Sacrosanct. I'm hoping to get it finished this year and be able to publish it to Kindle by next year.

I've also been working as Content Designer for Valiance Online, a superhero MMORPG, which has been a fun experience so far. And I'm going through my back catalog of Examiner.com articles and polishing up and republishing some old pieces.

I'll try to update this blog at least once a week going forward. Stay tuned.